City Council

Joe Motil, former Columbus City Council candidate and longtime outspoken critic of the Mayor Ginther and City Council’s tax incentive policies states that, “Our city’s income tax revenues are taking a beating during this COVID crisis and property taxes continue to rise while causing rent increases and home foreclosures to those getting hit the hardest by COVID. City Council also just recently had to cut $41.5 million from its operating budget due to a reduction in city income revenues. And yet Mayor Ginther and City Council continue to give tax abatements away to the tune of $56 million since COVID first impacted the city’s revenues in March. And just last week, City Council gave back $10,274, 785 in city income tax revenue to 26 local companies through a Job Growth Incentive Program.       

Motil says, “Seven of those 26 companies alone totaled $8,474,715 of the $10,274,785 of city income tax taken from our general fund revenues. Three of them (Huntington, Nationwide Insurance & U.S, Bank) are Fortune 500 companies and CoverMyMeds is owned by the McKesson Corporation which ranks as the 5th wealthiest company in the United States.  Root Insurance recently announced it will be issuing an IPO very soon that is estimated to raise the value of their company to $6 billion. And Nationwide Children’s expansion projects of nearly $750 million and the billions that the OSU Wexner Medical Center is spending on its expansion is a clear indication that neither needs a dime of taxpayer assistance. Six of these companies are members of the Columbus Partnership (exclude U.S. bank).

Motil further claims that, “Not one of these seven companies need a dime of this money and should give back every penny of it and then some.  This is nothing more than corporate greed and a Mayor and City Council whose needless tax abatement and income tax incentive policy’s steal from our neighborhoods and deepen the financial struggles and lessen the opportunities of the poor and middle class.

The following is a list of the seven companies who were paid back city incomes taxes and how much each of them received:

Root Insurance - $317,829

CoverMyMeds - $102,274

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company - $1,773,679

Huntington Bank - $1,323,740

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center - $5,367,686

Nationwide Children’s Hospital - $1,140,069

U.S. Bank National Association - $45,748

Motil concludes, “In a display of further shamelessness and irresponsibility, City Council is holding a public hearing today on three proposed Community Reinvestment Areas (CRA’s) which will allow for 100 percent 15-year tax abatements on real property improvements.” Mr. Motil will be testifying at the public hearing which begins at 5pm. “The city’s misuse and blanket tax abatement policies give to the rich and takes away millions of dollars from the thousands of people that they claim they are providing equal opportunity for. We cannot continue to giveaway city income tax to those who don’t need it and tax abate our way out of poverty. Try to explain to the people in the Hilltop, Linden, South and East sides of Columbus on how these failed policies have trickled down financially to their neighborhoods and as individuals.”